A rightwing plot to shape Europe’s future
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Breitbart: A rightwing plot to
shape Britain’s future
By Nick Lowles
WHEN FORMER UKIP leader Nigel Farage was snapped having dinner with President
Trump and his family by a fellow diner in late February, it caused a flurry of interest
from the British media. What was not reported, but of far more significance, was the
meeting Farage had earlier that afternoon.
Farage gatecrashed dinner with Donald Trump because he was in the area. In fact,
he had just spent three hours at the White House with the President’s chief
strategist, Steve Bannon.
The pair had a lot to catch up on. They had a lot to discuss and plan.
As this report shows, Bannon and Farage have got to know each other well over the
last few years.
UKIP had been identified by Bannon’s Breitbart operation several years ago.
Bannon launched Breitbart London to help UKIP ahead of the 2015 General
Election. Breitbart’s key funder Robert Mercer supplied Farage’s anti-EU campaign,
Leave. EU, with the data tools that helped secure the Brexit vote and the UK’s
departure from the European Union.
In turn, Farage’s Brexit success provided Bannon, and his political master Donald
Trump, with the inspirational story of the underdog defying the political establishment.
This report shows that Breitbart is not a news website or a media outlet in any
ordinary sense and its staff are not mainstream journalists. Breitbart is a political
project, with a specific political agenda, staffed by willing propagandists.
It distorts and fabricates news to deliberately incite anger in its supporters and fear in
others. It pollutes the political space and demonises and vilifies its opponents.
Breitbart is just one part - albeit a vital part - of a wider political project that set
Britain on a path to leave the European Union and got Donald Trump elected to the
most powerful job in the world.
But even with Trump in the White House the project is not yet complete. Steve
Bannon and Robert Mercer have far bigger plans which they will seek to execute
over the next few years. Bannon will use his clearly strong influence over the
President to carry out his aggressive nationalism and strong anti-Muslim views at
home and abroad. Mercer will use his financial muscle and data analytics to sway
elections and shift opinion.
Breitbart intends to expand its operations into more countries in the hope of
assisting more far right leaders gain power and laying the ground for what they
consider is an inevitable conflict with Islam.
And in Britain, this operation will be at the heart of a new political venture, likely to
be launched in a matter of months, to create a new far right party and run by multi-
millionaire Arron Banks and Nigel Farage.
Based on the social movement model of Italy’s Five Star Movement but with the
nationalist and populist politics of Trump, this new party will sweep aside UKIP
and hope to capitalise on the uncertainty and compromise that will undoubtedly
While Banks and Farage will lead this new party, it will be Breitbart that provides the
It was this that Farage was discussing with Bannon at the White House.
A short history of Breitbart
Breitbart london word cloud
Breitbart: Fake News and
Far Right Politics
Not News, Not Innocent
UKIP - Breitbart’s UK mission
Breitbart London staff -
Other Breitbart London staff
A platform for extremists
Below the Line:
The Comment Section
Meeting the Breitbart threat
This report was written by
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 3
A short history of Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart launched Breitbart to
become “the Huffington Post of the right”
Southern Poverty Law Centre report that
Breitbart has “undergone a noticeable
shift toward embracing ideas on the
extremist fringe of the conservative
right” and was using “racist,” “anti-
Muslim” and “anti-immigrant ideas.”
Breitbart becomes a cheerleader
for Donald Trump’s Presidential
bid, often attacking other right
wing news outlets who are more
sympathetic to Ted Cruz.
Breitbart London plays a highly
supportive role in the campaign
to take the UK out of the
After Trump’s election,
Breitbart announced intention
to set up German and
Breitbart played a prominent
role in the highly influential
Conservative Political Action
Committee (CPAC) conference,
cementing its position in the US
Breitbart released explicit text
messages the New York
congressman and rising Democrat
star Anthony D. Weiner had sent to
women online forcing him to resign.
Bannon recruits an additional 12 staff
and opens offices in Texas and London.
Raheem Kassam and James Delingpole
appointed to run London operation.
Raheem Kassam steps down
as editor of London Breitbart
to becomes Nigel Farage’s chief
advisor and is credited with taking
UKIP to the right. Kassam returns
to Breitbart after Farage fails to get
elected as an MP.
Photos (top to bottom) Andrew Breitbart, Steve Bannon,
Raheem Kassam, Donald Trump (photos: Gage Skidmore)
and Nigel Farage (photo: Jennifer Jane Mills)
An undercover investigation into ACORN
led to the community empowerment
organisation closing down.
Breitbart dies. Steve Bannon
becomes executive chair.
Bannon becomes Trump’s
Bannon describes Breitbart as the
“platform of the alt-right”.
ion steps down as CEO in August
to head Trump’s Presidential bid.
4 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Breitbart’s obsession with migrants,
immigration and the threat from
Muslims dominate the last 500
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HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 5
Breitbart: Fake News
and Far Right Politics
Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National
Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Gage Skidmore
6 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Breitbart is not a news website. Nor is it a media outlet, and its
staff are not ordinary journalists. Breitbart is a political project,
with a specific political agenda, staffed by willing propagandists.
en years ago, Andrew Breitbart turned to his friend Larry
Solov and asked for his help in creating a new media
company that would ‘change the world’. It must have
sounded like cocktail-fuelled hubris yet just a decade later, with
former Breitbart executive chair Steve Bannon now assistant to
the President and White House chief strategist with a place on
the National Security Council, what seemed like a fantasy has
become a dangerous reality.
While ostensibly a right-wing news outlet like any other, Breitbart
is in reality part of a transatlantic political movement with a
common world view and coordinated objectives. It doesn’t report
on events: it seeks to make them and (mis)shape them.
Indeed, Breitbart manufactures falsehoods and peddles half-
truths. Its unsubstantiated conclusions are drawn from its
existing prejudices and published to advance its agenda;
Breitbart is a click-hate echo chamber.
Andrew Breitbart’s vision, even when it was just the
two of us working out of a basement, was for Breitbart
News to offer a voice to freedom-loving people
everywhere and to tailor their news experience both
locally and globally.
This is Breitbart’s mission as described by co-owner Larry Solov
for the announcement of the launch of Breitbart London. As a
mission statement it is indeed a laudable one. Yet in reality its
supposedly lofty ideals have sat in stark contrast to its often
racist, xenophobic, sexist, transphobic and homophobic content.
Breitbart targets those people and communities disenfranchised
by globalisation and often ignored by the political mainstream.
It makes political and economic profit from ramping up fear
and mistrust and increasing societal division via its often
wildly exaggerated, hyperbolic, inaccurate, prejudiced or even
Broadly speaking its political aims are to undermine and destroy
the liberal democratic progressive consensus - understood as
left-wing cultural hegemony - and the societal norms which
are derived from it. Key here is a rejection of multiculturalism,
manifest as opposition to immigration and liberal refugee
policies. More generally its content stands in opposition to
supposedly left-wing concepts such as feminism, LGBT+ rights
and minority rights more generally.
When it comes to Breitbart’s ‘reporting’ related to Islam
and Muslims it is utterly indistinguishable from the anti-
Muslim ‘counter-jihad’ movement’s rhetoric or even that of
the extreme far right. Take for example the article headlined
‘Political Correctness Protects Muslim Rape Culture’ which,
based on the unsubstantiated claim that there is indeed an
‘epidemic’, then goes on to make clear that ‘the epidemic is
a by-product of the influx into Europe of a million, mostly
Muslim, migrants’ arguing that ‘It’s just not politically correct
to talk openly about Islam’s rape culture’ and that ‘like honor
killings, with massive Muslim immigration on the horizon, it
could be coming to a town near you all too soon’.
In stark contrast to the website’s regular downplaying of
‘the radical feminist “rape culture” panic’ - despite research
suggesting that 23% of female undergraduate students in the
USA have reported experiencing sexual assault since enrolling in
college - the portrayal of Muslims as not just culturally different
but also a physical and sexual threat (a traditional tactic of the
anti-immigrant far right) is commonplace on Breitbart and is
explored in greater depth later in this report.
It is important to note that Breitbart’s borderline obsession with
Islam and Muslims is not mere prejudice and racism, though
it is that, but actually the result of a specific worldview. To
understand Breitbart’s political project, it is necessary to explore
the striking parallels between Steve Bannon’s world view and
Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilisations’ theory, as it is from
this that Bannon, and by extension Breitbart, has identified
its friends and enemies abroad and its opposition to Muslim
immigration and multiculturalism domestically.
Speaking at a 2014 conference hosted by the Human Dignity
Institute in the Vatican, Bannon outlined his now much
commented upon worldview and his understanding of the
Breitbart mission. He explained that Breitbart was expanding
‘to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a
crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the
Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs.’ He talked of a ‘crisis both
of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 7
Breitbart: Fake News and Far Right Politics (continued)
However, in addition to believing the West is in crisis he also, like
his allies in the anti-Muslim ‘counter-jihad’ movement and many
of the populist and far-right parties of Europe, believes we are
in the grip of a civilisational conflict between the West and the
Muslim world. As he has put it, the West is ‘in the very beginning
stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict’ with Islamic fascism.
For Bannon, this civilisational war is a winner-take-all struggle
tinged with more than a hint of apocalyptic analysis. This is best
seen in the opening passage from a film script he wrote in 2007
titled ‘Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Facism
[sic] in America’:
The iconic image of the US Capitol on a pristine spring
day . . . The dome glistening under an azure sky and
brilliant sun ... As the camera pulls in, we notice
something strange, something not right ... Old Glory
fluttering from its flagpole on the Capitol’s portico looks
different, but we can’t put our finger on it ... As we pull
in we see why ... I nstead of the stars and stripes - the
crescent and the star!!!... Simultaneously with this
focus we hear in a high pitched chant “Allah Akhbar”
- the Muslim call to prayer emanating from the capital
itself. On the screen in bold letters:
The Islamic States of America
According to documents acquired by The Washington Post the
unmade documentary film was to warn about the threat of Islam
and its ‘enablers among us’, including institutions such as the
media and the Jewish community and government agencies
which allegedly appeased Islamism.
It is Bannon’s belief in a clash between the West and Islam and
the idea of a Muslim invasion via immigration, aided by liberal
left wing elites, that explains much of Breitbart’s coverage of
Muslims as well as some of Trump’s policy decisions.
‘Politics is War 9
Key to winning this external war, in Bannon’s eyes, is to change
the nature of the West. This requires shifting western societies
away from liberal multiculturalism.
As Bannon sees it, ‘politics is war’ and to win one has to
‘weaponise’ the narrative you want to advance. To do so the
media landscape has to be remade in one’s own political image.
While Breitbart is key here, it is actually just part of a wider
international offensive against liberal democracy.
A recent article in The Observer newspaper explained how
Breitbart was merely ‘the star’ at the centre of a right-wing
‘media galaxy’ run by the ultra-conservative hedge fund
billionaire Robert Mercer. Mercer, who was Donald Trump’s
largest donor ($1 3.5m), has been central to the rise of Breitbart,
donating $10m to Bannon’s media project.
Fascinatingly, The Observer article revealed how Mercer also
has a stake in Cambridge Analytica (CA), a small data analytics
company that specialises in mass propaganda designed to act on
people’s emotions, so-called ‘psyops’ (psychological operations).
It uses big data and machine learning algorithms to identify
patterns and predict behaviour, using the content that people
see to understand their psychological profile and utilising that
information to target them with whatever content it chooses.
Speaking to The Observer, Andy Wigmore, the
communications director of the Arron Banks-backed
Leave.EU campaign , which also had ties with Cambridge
Analytica, explained how data used in this manner:
. . . tells you all sorts of things about that individual
and how to convince them with what sort of
advert. And you knew there would also be other
people in their network who liked what they liked,
so you could spread. And then you follow them. The
computer never stops learning and it never stops
Aleksandr Kogan from the Cambridge
University’s Psychometric Centre, said:
It’s no exaggeration to say that
minds can be changed. Behaviour
can be predicted and controlled.
I find it incredibly scary. I really
do. Because nobody has really
followed through on the possible
consequences of all this. People
don’t know it’s happening to
them. Their attitudes are being
changed behind their backs.
What is clear is that Breitbart, while
important, is just one of countless
right-wing platforms seeking to shift
the societal consensus towards its
worldview, using complex tools to
On both sides of the Atlantic there
are people, movements, parties
Robert Mercer. Donald Trump’s largest
donor ($1 3.5m). Photo: Andrew Toth/
8 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
and philosophical currents - some collaborating, some not -
that have a commonality of analysis, working tirelessly to knock
down the pillars of the liberal progressive consensus.
Many commentators have already drawn parallels between
Trump’s election, Brexit and the rise of populist radical-right
parties in Europe such as the Front National in France and Geert
Wilders PVV in The Netherlands. While this is true, it makes up
just one part of the phenomenon, the others being the organised
anti-Muslim movement, the so-called ‘Alt- Right’, the European
New (Real) Right (including Identitarian Movements) and of
course the traditional far right.
Together these groups, often using cutting-edge manipulative
technology, pose a fundamental threat to the liberal progressive
consensus and have the ability to halt, and possibly even
reverse, the advancement towards more open, tolerant and equal
societies, undermine social cohesion and threaten the safety and
security of all ethnic minority communities, especially Muslims.
Expansion into Europe
While it is a digital platform, it would be wrong to see Breitbart’s
threat as merely online: its work has significant offline
repercussions. Breitbart doesn’t merely quench the thirst of
online warriors by providing prejudiced confirmation bias,
it actually consciously operates as a slick propaganda
machine for specific politicians and parties of a
In February 2014 Breitbart opened its first
international section with the launch of Breitbart
London, headed by executive editor James
Delingpole and managing editor Raheem Kassam.
At the time of its launch, along with a new branch in
Texas, Stephen Bannon made clear the motivation
for their expansion across the Atlantic:
‘We look at London and Texas as two fronts in our
current cultural and political war’ and that, There
is a growing global anti-establishment revolt
against the permanent political class at home,
and the global elites that influence them, which
impacts everyone from Lubbock to London.’
Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow added
that London ‘is a window into and cautionary tale
about the possible future of America as we trend
toward a secular social-Democratic society.’
The offline soldiers in Bannon’s ‘political war’
here in the in the UK have been UKIP, which
have benefitted from fawning coverage and
constant support. Even Gawain Towler, the party’s
head of press, has admitted to Buzzfeed that:
‘Breitbart has, from conception, been broadly supportive of
UKIP’ and that ‘it’s always very much been a friendly online
news provider.’ However, the relationship has been multifaceted.
As well as supporting UKIP Breitbart London has also been an
influence on the party’s shift further to the right in recent years, a
phenomenon explored in detail later in this report.
Breitbart London also offered its support to the far-right, anti-
Muslim street movement Pegida UK, led by former English
Defence League founder Stephen Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’).
Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam even addressed
one of Pegida UK’s demonstrations in Birmingham alongside
the German Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann (who has been
convicted of ‘inciting racial hatred’).
Plans have also been announced to expand onto the Continent,
with editions planned in France and Germany, with a view to
bolstering the fortunes of the far-right leader Le Pen in France’s
presidential election in April and to attack German Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s progressive refugee policy and support the
efforts of the anti-Muslim Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party
in the German federal elections in September. This was no secret
with Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow confirming these
countries had been picked due to the upcoming elections.
The announcement of this enlargement makes it clear that
Breitbart’s modus operandi is to expand into countries where
it sees an opportunity of advancing its political project by
exploiting anger and anti-immigrant sentiment, while seeking to
bolster existing far-right opposition parties.
However, despite it being announced that the new platforms
would be launched by January 2017 nothing has yet
materialised. This means the chance of any French Breitbart
opening in time for the election is very slim. This has not
stopped the existing platforms pumping out reams of pro-Front
National stories. In the last year alone Breitbart has published
over 200 articles with Le Pen in the title and many more where
she and her party are mentioned. Similar exposure has been
given to Geert Wilders - who is also a Breitbart columnist - and
the AfD in Germany, while strong support was offered to Norbert
Hofer, the far-right Freedom Party candidate, during his failed bid
to become Austrian president last year.
It has also emerged that there are plans to launch in Italy,
too, with the country facing growing economic issues and the
increased likelihood of elections this year. With one full-time
journalist in Rome already it is said to be planning to add
more, though it seems there are no plans to launch an Italian
Whether Breitbart actually manages to launch European
platforms is still unclear, but it’s clear that Breitbart’s leadership
is more than willing to use its existing English language outlets
to advance the fortunes of Europe’s far right, populist, anti-
Muslim, anti-immigrant political parties.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 9
Not News, Not Innocent
Breitbart London, a subsidiary
of the Breitbart News Network,
is not a traditional news outlet.
Nor did it ever intend to be. Breitbart’s founder, the prominent
rightwing journalist Andrew Breitbart, told former Breitbart
editor-in-chief (and now Trump right-hand man) Steve Bannon
that they had “to take back the culture”.
Breitbart London has made repeated journalistic and editorial
errors and its inadequacies seem part of a deliberate strategy to
communicate a political worldview under the guise of reporting
on the day’s events. This strategy includes the use of misleading
and false headlines to advance unsupported claims that attract
readers by confirming their beliefs, and a stifling editorial policy
that reports on a select few topics from a narrow range of “alt-
Quite ironically, Breitbart London and its parent organisation are
well-known for two criticisms of mainstream news outlets: that
they manufacture ‘fake news’ and that they do so for the purpose
of promoting particular political worldviews. In practice, Breitbart
London is frequently guilty of these very acts, despite their
Given this, it seems likely that Breitbart London is a test export
of the parent organisation’s strategic misreporting tactics, and a
promotion of its mass-market political tools.
It is crucial, therefore, to understand the tactics that Breitbart
employs, and how they work.
Breitbart London’s Writers:
How They Create Fake News
A central tactic of Breitbart London’s writers is to create
headlines that de-contextualise information and quotations to
present false, misleading or inflated claims.
For example, the article ‘Delingpole: The Archbishop of
Canterbury thinks we’re all Fascists, Cheers’, contains no quote
from the Archbishop. Instead, it links to another Breitbart
London article that conflates his passing reference to one
possible explanation of recent electoral activity -the influence
of fascist leaders on voters - with the claim that this is what
he judges to be the explanation. Similarly misleading is ‘Soros-
Backed Group Urges EU to Use ‘Nuclear Option’ on ‘Populist’
Poland’. The ‘nuclear option’ referred to is a nickname for an EU
legal mechanism that prevents certain voting rights, as opposed
to the implied military assault.
This is a typical tactic of fake news outlets the world over.
Headlines draw in readers by confirming their beliefs (or
prejudices) in advance. Posing as news providers, these
fake news media outlets use such content as clickbait:
extraordinary claims are more likely to encourage click-
throughs and social media sharing, which in turn generates
more advertising revenue.
Breitbart London’s writers are no doubt aware that there is
often insufficient (or no) evidence to support their headlines’
claims, or that the available evidence supports a weaker
claim. Therefore, they often de-escalate from the stronger
claim in the headline to a weaker one in the body of the actual
piece. Such de-escalation leads to the bizarre, openly self-
contradictory nature of many Breitbart London articles. ‘Seven
Found Guilty of Robbing German Churches to Finance Jihad,
for example, later back-pedals when it admits that: “Judges
said it was unclear whether the funds they generated were
actually used to support armed jihad and if so, to what extent.”
Failing de-escalation, Breitbart London writers will instead
attempt to rely on putative evidence that doesn’t actually
support their claims either. In ‘Europe’s Rape Epidemic:
Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass
Migration’, Breitbart London writer Anne Marie-Waters (of
Sharia Watch) cites a Norwegian (specifically Oslo) rape
statistic through a Christian Broadcasting Network article,
which neither provides a link to cited police reports and only
a link to an unavailable Youtube clip when referring to the
“rape epidemic”. She also references a Danish government
statistic from 2010 (thus allowing for no comparison with
the present); an uncited statistic about rape in England;
and a 2015 Gatestone Institute report: ‘Germany: Migrant
Rape Epidemic’ that claims “the increase in sex crimes in
Germany is being fueled by the preponderance of Muslim
males among the mix of refugees/migrants entering the
country”. However, a more recent study by Davis and Vidler
(2016) argues that, “while a relationship between increased
rape or assault rates and the number of migrants entering
Germany cannot be disproven, it also cannot be confidently
Clearly aware that her ‘evidence’ does not support the claim
that there is a rape epidemic in Europe resulting from mass
migration, Marie-Waters, like all of Breitbart London’s writers,
relies heavily on confirming her readers’ prior beliefs through
mere speculation and rhetoric. One line in Marie-Waters’
article states: “The West is being disarmed - to demolish our
cultures, our leaders are persuading us that there is nothing
within them that is worthy of defence”. Combining an emotive
belief widely perpetuated by Breitbart with an expression of
respect for, and simultaneous dismissal of, the need to cite
evidence, her support for this ‘Western disarmament’ claim is
simply: “Examples of attacks on European or Western identity
are too numerous to mention.”
10 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Breitbart London writer, Virginia Hale (pictured),
falsely reported in January of this year that Muslim
men had attacked a church, police and citizens
in Dortmund on New Year’s Eve as part of a
thousand-strong mob chanting ’Allahu Akhbar’.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 11
Breitbart London: Not News, Not Innocent (continued)
Aside from de-escalation and attempting to make up for evidence
with rhetoric, another tactic employed by Breitbart London’s
writers is to frequently cite other, often also unsupported,
Breitbart articles as evidence for claims. For example, Breitbart
London’s recent deluge of 61 articles published within the last
month on supposed crises resulting from Sweden’s migration
policy, frequently link to one another [see HOPE not hate’s
debunking sidebar on page 28 explaining why many of these
claims about Sweden are also unsupported].
Given Breitbart’s “alt-right” perspective, this results in an echo
chamber, reinforced by Breitbart’s constant reminder to its
readers that mainstream media cannot be trusted. This would
also explain the site’s high turnover of content covering the
same events (its 10 staff produce on average three pieces
each a day), with the resulting glut of op-ed speculation readily
available to draw upon as ‘evidence’. Moreover, the few external
news sources Breitbart London’s writers do rely on are usually
the same, primarily right-leaning European papers, which add
little variety to the editorial mix.
The Best Explanation:
Neither News nor Innocent
If Breitbart London is a news outlet, why would its editor allow
such basic and frequent mistakes from its writers? And why
would its writers not wish to write on more varied topics?
The obvious explanation is that Breitbart London is not a news
outlet, since its output is often false or inflates the truth. Its
inaccuracies are not innocent errors, but rather the result of
deliberate, repeated employment of strategies by a media outlet
to promote a particular, politically-rigid interpretation of current
events under the guise of being a news outlet. Given that Steve
Bannon has talked about how you can “weaponise” the narrative
you want, perhaps that is unsurprising.
It also explains why Breitbart rarely publishes corrections;
something that fits with the organisation’s attitude towards
humility. Former Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopolous, who
recently quit following outrage about paedophilia comments,
boasted: “I haven’t ever apologised before, and I don’t anticipate
ever doing it again”.
Breitbart London’s Editorial Policy:
How it Suffocates Scrutiny
The strategic inaccuracy of Breitbart London’s reporting is
clearly the result of a deliberate editorial policy. The outlet
exclusively hires writers with “alt-right” political leanings. A
future injection of new perspectives into Breitbart London also
seems unlikely, given that Breitbart News Networks’ The
Conversation blog - ostensibly aimed at encouraging debate
- has lain dormant since July 2016.
Then there is the selective focus on certain topics.
Within the last year the site has published over 303
stories on ‘Muslims or Islam’ and 592 stories on
‘immigrants or migrants’. None would deny that
Islam and migration have been high-profile topics
in mainstream media, but it is the relentless focus
that highlights a deliberate attempt to keep the topics
in readers’ minds. The scant number of reports on
divergent topics (and lack of dedicated columnists
for these) only serves to put its obsessive coverage of
migrants and Islam into sharper relief. Furthermore,
other common terms used in Breitbart London
headlines within the last year reflect a
clear editorial line on how to describe
the current political climate, with
116 stories on ‘rape or rapists’,
54 stories on ‘invading, invasion
or invaders’, and 79 stories
discussing a ‘threat’ or that which
Breitbart London writer, Virginia Hale, falsely reported in
January of this year that Muslim men had attacked a church,
police and citizens in Dortmund on New Year’s Eve as part of a
thousand-strong mob chanting ’Allahu Akhbar’. She was later
corrected by the same source she drew on, local paper Ruhr
Nachrichten , which stated that she had not only distorted its
report, but had done so “for fake news, hate and propaganda”.
Yet her article remains online and, though correcting
for a claim about the age of the church, Breitbart
London “stands by all other substantive facts in
Elsewhere, Breitbart London has also hoped
people have forgotten that it supported
claims it has later discredited as fake news.
For instance, in an article from this year
Breitbart London’s Chris Tomlinson reported
that allegations of sexual harassment, theft,
and assault by migrants in Frankfurt on New
Year’s Eve were being investigated by the police
is being potentially false. However, though linking
to it, Tomlinson did not explicitly
mention that fellow Breitbart
London writer Donna Rachel
Edmunds had reported
on the allegations in an
earlier article. Instead,
how “this is not the
first time German
media have been
12 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
fooled by the so-called “fake news” phenomena”, before detailing
two reports that, though indeed falsified, conveniently focused
on claims made by two individuals from two groups Breitbart
elsewhere negatively targets: migrants and Muslim women.
Breitbart London’s writers evidently prioritise maintaining their
beliefs over changing their minds when in pursuit of the truth.
However, this should come as no surprise. As HOPE not hate
detailed recently when examining how Breitbart’s connections
to the “alt-right” have guided the reporting of Hale: “Selective
and fake news is targeted to appeal to the biases of [Breitbart’s]
audience, and “alt-right” racists are a section of the Breitbart
readership that appear well-known to Hale”.
Nor should it be a surprise that Breitbart London does not,
despite the pretence, function as a news outlet. Just as the
network’s founder, Andrew Breitbart, himself failed to realise
(despite all of his putative new media genius), new platforms do
not necessarily escape the flaws of the platforms they criticise.
Least of all, do they escape the flaws they do little to avoid, or as
is now more evidently accurate to say of Breitbart London, the
flaws they do much to embrace.
FEMINISTS NEED TO KNOW
— ISLAM KILLS WOMEN
EUROPE’S RAPE EPIDEMIC:
WESTERN WOMEN WILL BE
SACRIFICED AT THE ALTER
OF MASS MIGRATION
DELINGPOLE: THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
THINKS WE’RE ALL FASCISTS. CHEERS!
ISLAM ACADEMIC: MIGRANTS WANT EURABIA,
GLOBALISTS USING MIGRANTS TO DESTROY THE WEST
DATA: YOUNG MUSLIMS IN THE WEST ARE A TICKING TIME
BOMB, INCREASINGLY SYMPATHISING WITH RADICALS, TERROR
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 13
UKIP - Breitbart's UK mission
Since its inception in February
201 4, the Breitbart London
project has been intimately
tied to the UK Independence
Steve Bannon, now the intellectual centre of the Trump
administration, has spoken of UKIP as a constituent part of
a “global tea party”, an amalgamation of populist right-wing
movements geared towards overturning established political
powers such as the European Union (EU), as well as protecting
“Judeo-Christian” values against radical Islam.
Bannon made clear in a New York Times interview that the
establishment of Breitbart London was accelerated in order to
support a “nascent European Tea Party” before the May 2015
elections. The outlet has wielded a tangible influence over the
British Eurosceptic party since then.
While UKIP has proved highly successful in terms of
undermining the EU, it is an imperfect vessel for Bannon’s
vision of an anti-establishment, anti-Islam party. Until recently
UKIP had no core ideology other than Euroscepticism, and has
attracted both illiberal, anti-immigration populists and libertarian/
free-market former Tories uninterested in being part of what
Bannon has described as a “front” in “our current cultural and
In order to realise this vision, under Bannon’s willing apprentice
Raheem Kassam, Breitbart London has engaged in a tireless
crusade not only to promote the party, but to shift it into ever-
more punitive and xenophobic territory. Breitbart London has
made significant progress in this mission, but in doing so has
greatly exacerbated existing rifts, with UKIP currently teetering
on the edge of splits and (potentially) oblivion.
According to The Spectator, Steve Bannon first gained a toehold
in UKIP via its General Secretary, Matthew Richardson, who had
spent two years developing contacts for UKIP in Washington.
The former executive director of the Young Britons’ Foundation
(YBF), a controversial Tory youth group with strong links
to American neoconservative movements, Richardson also
introduced the one-time YBF member Raheem Kassam to
UKIP figurehead Nigel Farage. Farage and Kassam quickly
Bannon hired Kassam to head Breitbart’s London office
alongside the rightwing polemicist James Delingpole, after
sharing a panel with Kassam at the 2013 YBF Conference.
From the outset Breitbart London was unwaveringly pro-UKIP,
the early staff roster including Kassam, the would-be UKIP MEP
candidate Delingpole, the former UKIP councillor Donna Rachel
Edmunds and a future member of UKIP’s Brussels press team,
Mary Ellen Synon. Breitbart London’s output was pro-Farage to
the extent that it began to alarm other staff.
“We effectively became the UKIP comms office,” one employee
told The Spectator. “Any criticism of the sainted Farage was
completely banned,” said another.
Alongside being pro-Farage, the message was also obsessively
anti-Islam and anti-immigration. And while Breitbart London’s
readership is small compared to its American parent, its constant
pro-UKIP content and frequent contributions from party officials
ensures that it is read by a significant portion of younger
party activists, effectively creating a bubble within which its
unrelenting hardline message can take root. It is notable that of
the multitude of former and current UKIP officials to have written
for Breitbart London - including three leaders, nine MEPs,
multiple spokespeople and leadership candidates, press officers,
youth leaders and financial donors - the majority come from a
pro-Farage, anti-immigration stance.
Such obsequious coverage clearly helped curry favour with
Farage, who in late 2014 hired Kassam. In September Kassam
organised a trip with party secretary Matthew Richardson to
the USA, including events hosted by Breitbart. Farage had been
close friends with Robert Mercer, the reclusive hedge-fund
billionaire who heavily funded the creation of the Breitbart News
Network, and Kassam’s trip helped Farage establish his own ties
Farage was clearly awed by his experience in the States, writing
in his book Purple Revolution that it convinced both himself
and Kassam of “the extraordinary power of online media and
how it had made me and UKIP a massive, albeit surprising,
brand in the US”.
Just a month later Farage hired Kassam as his “senior
advisor”, enabling the latter to directly import Breitbart’s toxic
campaigning style into UKIP’s 2015 General Election push.
General Election 2015
A student of aggressive Tea Party-style campaigning, Kassam
quickly began to steer Farage’s campaign into ever-more hostile,
anti-Islam and anti-immigrant territory.
Kassam has been widely held responsible for the implementation
of the “shock and awful” TV debate strategy, whereby Farage
would make inflammatory, xenophobic comments - such as
deploying statistics about foreigners with FI IV and referring to
14 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Nigel Farage with President Elect Donald Trump, Arron Banks (second left) and Raheem Kassam (right). Photo: Twitter/Leave EU
a “fifth column” of Muslims in the UK - in order to provoke
political commentators and outrage UKIP’s core vote.
While such tactics were largely condemned by the mainstream
press, Breitbart London provided constant positive coverage.
Under Kassam’s tutelage, Farage also became ever more
combative during the campaign, openly scorning a “left wing”
BBC studio audience while discussing immigration in a
In March 2015 Farage travelled to the USA to speak at CPAC,
the largest annual gathering of American conservative activists,
hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU). His speech
was preceded by a laudatory introduction from Breitbart’s US
editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow, who stated: “Breitbart London
is here to track a revolt, and its against the political establishment,
and the global elites. And that revolt is being led by a party called
UKIP and a man you’ll soon meet named Nigel Farage”.
The fact that Farage missed UKIP’s Spring conference to speak
at CPAC provoked the anger of many within his party.
Farage’s inner circle shrunk ever smaller during the campaign,
giving Kassam key decision-making power with little
consultation. This aroused the ire of his colleagues, as did his
seemingly uncontrollable urge to engage in petty squabbles.
Fie took part in public spats with celebrities via Farage’s Twitter
account and lodged a police complaint when, on a comedy quiz
show, journalist Camilla Long suggested that Farage had barely
visited South Thanet.
Gawain Towler, UKIP’s press officer and a Farage loyalist, told
author and academic Matthew Goodwin:
‘I would not say Nigel changed, as there was nothing
that he did that was not always there. It is not accurate
to say that he was reinvented by Raheem. But we saw
more of a side of Nigel that had not been given the same
amount of licence in the past. He used to be aloof from
the toxicity, floating above the bad side of Ukip... But
what happened in this campaign, suddenly Nigel became
as toxic as the party and that was a big change.’
After UKIP won just a single seat in the 2015 election, tensions
exploded between Farage’s circle and those angry at the
increasingly hostile anti-immigration policy and messaging
employed by the leader. UKIP’s now-sole MP, Douglas Carswell,
labelled Farage’s tactics “mean-spirited” and “wrong”. Farage
embarked on an unsuccessful campaign to get him sacked.
Both Kassam and Richardson were dropped from UKIP after
MEP Patrick O’Flynn accused them of having turned Farage into
a “snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive” man. Chair Suzanne Evans
was sacked after using the word “divisive” about Farage, and
later branded Kassam “an utter disaster” using “pure divide and
Kassam blamed the tensions on jealousy. “Egos got in the way
at every point”, he told The Guardian. “Who do you think Nigel
would call? It was always me. They absolutely hated that.”
Kassam returned to Breitbart London, warning that he would
“be scrutinising quite heavily what the Red UKIP team are trying
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 15
An Unholy Union: Breitbart London & UKIP (continued)
to do to my organisation”. The political blog Guido Fawkes
reported that it may have been Kassam’s return that drove
executive editor Delingpole, who was allegedly unhappy with the
hectoring, anti-Islam stance output, from a position of influence
at Breitbart London. Shortly after, Bannon granted Kassam full
editorial control. The outlet began routinely publishing articles
heavily critical of the “red UKIP team”. A 2016 petition - linked
to Kassam - protested “insidious political correctness” in UKIP
after Suzanne Evans pressured the party to suspend a candidate
who advocated “gay cure” therapy.
“Raheem has been quite clever in the way that he’s used Breitbart
and its readership to push stories to further his own political
agenda, as far as he wants UKIP to develop a move to be
trenchantly right-wing,” O’Flynn told Buzzfeed News. “There’s an
ongoing close relationship between the two of them, and it covers
a lot of UKIP issues from a particular standpoint, of US-style attack
While failing to help UKIP to electoral victory in 2015, Kassam
had succeeded in pushing to the fore a block that shared
Breitbart London’s far-right vision for the party.
The Brexit campaign
Tensions within UKIP temporarily eased during a period of relative
focus ahead of the June 2016 EU Referendum. Farage was the
figurehead of the unofficial Leave.EU campaign run by UKIP’s
largest financial donor, Arron Banks. Unabashedly influenced
by Donald Trump’s aggressive, emotional campaigning and
disdain for facts, Leave.EU mercilessly exploited fears around
immigration, leading to condemnation from many quarters of the
mainstream press for toxifying the debate.
The Observer newspaper reported that during this time Leave.
EU acquired the services of Cambridge Analytica (CA), a data
analytics firm used by the Trump campaign. According to
Leave. EU’s communications director Andy Wigmore, Farage’s
friendship with Breitbart co-owner Robert Mercer - a CA board
member - led to Mercer directing CA to help the Leave.EU
campaign free of charge.
CA is an offshoot of British company SCL Group, with 25 years
experience in military “population messaging” campaigns and
“election management”. CA provided Banks’ divisive campaign
with sophisticated advice on how to target swing voters via
Facebook. Banks recently bragged about CA’s role in influencing
the Brexit campaign, writing that it brought “unprecedented
levels of engagement”.
As Breitbart’s American parent became the unofficial mouthpiece
of the Trump campaign, Breitbart London tirelessly flew the flag
for Leave.EU ahead of the official Vote Leave campaign. Shortly
after the UK voted to leave the EU, Steve Bannon congratulated
Nigel Farage, UKIP and the Leave coalition via Breitbart News
Daily, calling it a “David versus Goliath” victory. Farage, in turn,
thanked Bannon for his support.
“Can I just say a massive thanks to Breitbart, on both sides of
the pond?” he said. “Because you guys have been fair with me,
and given me a chance to make my arguments. I thank you guys
very much indeed for that”.
Bannon later told The Huffington Post. “We were the first guys in
back of UKIP,” and hinted that the office had been opened in the UK
because “we knew the Brexit thing was going to be big one day”.
The UKIP leadership campaign
Having achieved its sole founding purpose (i.e. for Britain
to leave the European Union), UKIP has entered a period of
profound existential crisis from which it has yet to fully emerge.
The prospect of defining what the party now actually stands for
has forced confrontation between its ideological blocs. Farage’s
abdication has reignited vicious infighting between the Faragists
and Douglas Carswell’s associates. Breitbart London has
renewed its savage attacks on the party moderates.
Raheem Kassam further upped tensions by launching his own
divisive UKIP leadership campaign, backed by Arron Banks,
under the slogan “Make UKIP Great Again”. His hardline platform
included a referendum on banning the niqab (near-full face veil),
allowing ex-BNP members and the English Defence League to join
UKIP on a case-by-case basis, halving the budget of the BBC, and
forcing Douglas Carswell to issue a humiliating apology for his
disagreements with Farage or face being booted out of the party.
Using Breitbart London as a mouthpiece, Kassam was able to
mobilise UKIP’s troublesome Young Independence (Yl) youth
movement, described as the “BNP-lite” by UKIP insiders. Under
the encouragement of Yl leader (and Breitbart London author)
Jamie Ross McKenzie, the Yl used social media to post incessant
abuse against Carswell and his supporters.
Deep anxieties remain among the UKIP leadership about the
influence of Breitbart and “alt-right” racism within the youth
As the infighting reached fever-pitch, Bannon’s August 2016
appointment as the Trump campaign’s chief executive - which
according to The Observer newspaper was made on the advice of
Robert Mercer- opened up opportunities for Farage and Kassam.
Farage soon found himself onstage with the next President of
the United States at a rally in Mississippi, delivering a speech
which drew parallels between the Brexit and Trump campaigns,
with Kassam waiting in the wings. Bannon would later defend his
16 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
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decision to host Farage, calling him “kind of a cult hero in this
global populist movement”.
Kassam abruptly abandoned his leadership campaign in late
October 2016, initially citing intrusion from journalists but
later stating on Breitbart News Network that he found the
opportunities arising from Trump’s possible election more
palatable than the prospect of leading UKIP.
Kassam was present in November 2016 when Farage became
the first foreign politician to meet president-elect Trump,
and claims to have been the link, through Trump’s newly-
appointed Senior Counsellor Steve Bannon, between the two.
Also in attendance was Arron Banks, another hard-line Farage
loyalist. Paul Nuttall MEP, the soon-to-be UKIP leader, was a
Farage has continued his love affair with Trump’s resurgent
American right. Immediately after the meeting with the
President-elect, Farage wrote a Breitbart London column,
“I Am Prepared To Help Britain Work With President Trump”.
An unseemly campaign to manoeuvre his way into an
ambassadorial role has ensued. Farage also slighted his former
party, saying he was relieved to no longer be UKIP leader
because it had meant “having to deal with low-grade people
During his speech at the February 201 7 CPAC - which was
introduced by Kassam - Farage spoke of “a global political
revolution” that would “roll out across the rest of the free
world” against “the globalists and those who wish to destroy
everything we’ve ever been”. He went on to praise Bannon
and Kellyanne Conway (one of Trump’s senior advisors and
his former campaign manager) as the “good people” behind
Trump; Conway has attracted controversy for using the phrase
“alternative facts” and referring to an alleged “Bowling Green
massacre” (which never actually happened). Farage is now
singing from an identical hymn sheet to Bannon, but clearly has
ambitions that lie beyond his party.
Paul Nuttall, who is also a Breitbart London columnist, won
the November 2016 UKIP leadership election on two primary
promises: uniting the party’s warring factions and reinventing
post-Brexit UKIP as the party of the “patriotic working class”.
Politically an authoritarian and nativist, Nuttall delivered his
first promise by subsuming many of his more divisive policies.
However he has proved unable to deliver the second, failing to
win the Stoke by-election in February 2017.
This defeat has brought the struggle over UKIP’s soul to a crisis
point and, more importantly, given Nigel Farage and Arron Banks
the chance to undermine the party and its leadership.
It has been clear for some time that Banks and his
communications chief Andy Wigmore had lost faith in UKIP but
had difficulty in persuading Farage to make the break too.
The former UKIP leader seemed genuinely tired of party politics
and hoped for a life outside it and even a potential media career
in the US. He also still held an affinity to the party he had
represented for so long.
However, the excitement of Trump’s victory and an increasingly
turbulent political landscape in the UK has clearly drawn him
The trio have decided on a new party but for that to happen
they have to clear UKIP out of the way first. Farage’s speech at
the recent UKIP conference, where he said that defeat in Stoke
would be a major setback, was the opening salvo.
Banks then piled in with an open letter demanding that he
become chairman and be allowed to sack several leading UKIP
officials. He was quickly followed by Farage, who called for the
party’s only MP Douglas Carswell to be expelled and dismissed
Nuttall as a weak leader.
Farage has also doubled down on a far-right platform, stating
that the party must be “radical” and own “the question of
All this is a calculated plan to undermine UKIP to the point it
splits, its membership hemorrhages or becomes politically
irrelevant. Any of these outcomes will give the justification for
Banks and Farage to launch their new party.
And it will be a party very much to the liking of Bannon, Mercer
and the Breitbart operation.
Raheem Kassam, playing his role dutifully, has joined the fray
signalling that he, and by extension Breitbart London, may finally
be moving on from UKIP, tweeting: “I’m not sure UKIP is fit for
Breitbart’s relationship with UKIP appears to be coming to an
end but a more worrying partnership is about to emerge. With a
promise to “own” the issue of immigration and denouncing other
political leaders for betraying the Brexit vote, this new party -
with Breitbart’s active support - is likely to pose a more serious
threat than UKIP ever was.
And in this, Nigel Farage and Arron Banks will continue to be
willing participants in Bannon’s cultural and political war.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 17
Breitbart London staff -
E ditor Raheem Kassam is the primary organising force
at Breitbart London and responsible for much of its
excoriating anti-Islam, pro-UKIP output.
Described by The Spectator as “a wildly self-important figure”
and “a professional windup merchant”, Kassam has bulldozed
through a multitude of right-wing think tanks, similarly-minded
campaigning organisations and blogs, leaving a trail of failed
enterprises and scorched relationships in his wake.
As a young Conservative Kassam joined the now-defunct Young
Britons’ Foundation (YBF), a controversial youth group described
as a “Conservative madrasa” by founder Donal Blaney, with
strong links to American neoconservative movements.
Kassam then served on the council of the conservative Bow
Group think tank and had a brief stint at the Taxpayer’s Alliance,
which was reportedly brought to an end after a dispute with chief
executive Matthew Elliott. Kassam was also one of the organisers
of the short-lived British Tea Party, set up by the anti-union
libertarian think tank the Freedom Association to “counter what
we believe is a Left-wing bias in our culture”.
In 2010 Kassam became Marketing Director for the Henry Jackson
Society (HJS), a neoconservative think tank described by founding
HJS member and former director Dr Marko Attila Hoare as having
“become an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim
tinge”. Kassam has since become an Associate Fellow at HJS.
Fie became Director of the Henry Jackson Society-linked
Student Rights in 2009, an anti-extremism “campus monitoring
group” which, the Huffington Post reports, appears to have no
student members or links to student unions. In 2013 Student
Rights was condemned by multiple student unions at London
universities for “disproportionately and unfairly targeting Muslim
students, contributing to their marginalisation and ostracisation,
damaging campus cohesion and feeding into a growing trend of
Islamophobic discourse in wider society”. The Institute of Race
Relations noted that Student Rights’ work has “been used by far-
right groups to target a Muslim-student event”. A Student Rights
report co-authored by Kassam was labelled “dishonest pseudo-
science in support of a toxic narrative” in the Huffington Post.
From January 2011 Kassam worked as Executive Editor of
neoconservative news website The Commentator, attracting
controversy for writing an article in support of racial
profiling. He was slammed by his future colleagues on the
neoconservative right, such as Aymenn J Al-Tamimi of the
Middle East Forum, for the extremity of The Commentator’s
anti-Islam output. Kassam eventually made an acrimonious exit
in 2013 after an explosive falling out with founding editor Robin
Sheppard, among accusations of theft, blackmail, extortion and
multiple accounts of fraud.
In 2012 Kassam headed-up the “Green Centre for Economic
Analysis and Sustainable Environment” (GreenCEASE), a
quickly-abandoned project consisting of a website and Twitter
account dedicated to reposting dubious climate sceptic
material. In July 2013 he launched a now-dormant blog,
Trending Central, describing itself as “pro-free markets, pro-
democracy, pro-Western and pro-Israel in its outlook”.
After meeting Steve Bannon at the YBF Conference in 2013,
Kassam was hired (alongside right-wing polemicist James
Delingpole) to head Breitbart’s London office. According to
political blog Guido Fawkes, Kassam soon alienated Delingpole,
who had allegedly attempted to move the outlet away from its
hectoring anti-immigration, anti-Islam stance during Kassam’s
nine-month jaunt as assistant to Nigel Farage, and had even
considered quitting Breitbart to “avoid ever having to be in the
same room as Kassam” again. Delingpole continues to write
regularly for Breitbart London but appears to have ceded any
editorial influence to Kassam.
Kassam has led Breitbart London in an increasingly incendiary,
anti-Islam arc, for example interviewing various leaders of the
international “counter-jihad” scene after taking over from Bannon
as host of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM radio. This is
unsurprising, given Kassam’s extensive links to “counter jihad”
and anti-Muslim hate movements.
Kassam is a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at Daniel Pipes’
Middle East Forum, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the
Gatestone Institute. He has described himself as “mates” with
former English Defence League (EDL) and Pegida UK leader
Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) and described Anne
Marie Waters of Sharia Watch UK as “a good personal friend of
mine, I absolutely love her”. Kassam addressed a demonstration
of the anti-Islam street movement Pegida UK in April 2016, going
on to promote Pegida UK on “counter-jihadist” Ezra Levant’s show
on the far-right outlet Rebel Media. America’s largest anti-Muslim
organisation ACT! For America has shared Kassam’s articles.
UK Independence Party
In October 2014 Kassam was hired as “senior advisor” to
then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage in the run up to the 2015
General Election. Kassam is widely credited for implementing
the “shock and awful” TV debate strategy where Farage would
make inflammatory, xenophobic comments - such as deploying
statistics about foreigners allegedly with HIV - carefully planned
to provoke the political class and fire up UKIP’s core vote.
Yet again Kassam’s behaviour quickly alienated his colleagues.
UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn described him as “a very combative
18 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
personality, he wanted self-glorification, name-checks for himself..
He had an appalling relationship with the press office”.
“My problem is not that I start fights because, generally,
I don’t,” Kassam told author and academic Matthew
Goodwin. “My flaw is that when I am in a fight I don’t know
when to stop”.
After UKIP won just a single seat at the 201 5 election,
Kassam was dropped. This was widely reported to
have been due to his central role in the bitter factional
squabbles between the Faragists and the party moderates,
although Kassam has claimed he chose to leave at the
end of his contract in order to “bulletproof Nigel” from
criticism. Kassam has continued to pursue what he has
described as the “red UKIP team” through abusive
outpourings on social media, and Breitbart London
routinely publishes articles heavily critical of figures
within UKIP opposing his far-right vision for the party.
Following Nigel Farage’s abdication in 2016, Kassam
ran a divisive campaign for the UKIP leadership, using
Breitbart London as his mouthpiece for a hardline
platform which included a referendum on banning
the niqab, providing Anne-Marie Waters a “senior
policy position” and allowing ex-BNP members and
the English Defence League to join UKIP on a case-
by-case basis. With such policies Kassam was able
to mobilise much of UKIP’s troublesome Young
Independence (Yl) youth movement, described as
the “BNP-lite” by former UKIP insiders.
Kassam abruptly abandoned his leadership
campaign, initially citing intrusion from journalists
but later stating on Breitbart radio that he found
the opportunities arising from the possible election
of Donald Trump to be much more palatable than the
prospect of leading UKIP. Minutes later he embarked on a
lengthy and sycophantic outpouring about Bannon on-air.
Kassam was present in November 2016 when Farage became
the first foreign politician to meet president-elect Trump, and
claims to have been the link, via Trump’s newly-appointed
Senior Counsellor Bannon, between the two.
Toadying up to Bannon has provided enormous opportunities
to a political chancer who, a handful of years before, was
caught attempting to create his own Wikipedia page. While
his caustic brand of anti-Muslim bigotry now has a bigger
platform than ever before, Kassam’s inability to control his
abusive outbursts or maintain working relationships means it
is uncertain how long he can continue in Bannon’s slipstream
before stepping on the wrong toes.
Raheem Kassam at the
2017 Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Maryland.
Photo: Gage Skidmore
HOPE not hate I Breitbart report
Other Breitbart London staff
James Delingpole is a right-wing
polemicist and climate change sceptic
best known for his columns in The
Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, and
for authoring books such as How to
be right: The essential guide to making
lefty liberals history and Watermelons:
How Environmentalists are Killing the
Planet, Destroying the Economy and
Stealing your Children’s Future.
Delingpole was the most established
name bought in by Steve Bannon
during the formation of Breitbart
London, initially hired to co-run the
site with Raheem Kassam. ShorShortly after joining Breitbart
London Delingpole described himself as fighting “the culture
wars, the wars against cultural Marxism.
According to the political blog Guido Fawkes, the relationship
between Kassam and Delingpole has deteriorated over Kassam’s
trenchant anti-Islam stance, with Delingpole allegedly even
considering quitting Breitbart to ‘avoid ever having to be in the
same room as Kassam’ again. Delingpole continues to write
regularly for Breitbart London but appears to have ceded any
editorial influence to Kassam.
Delingpole attributes his hiring by Bannon partly to their similar
stances on ‘the great climate-change con’ and he dominates
Breitbart’s climate change coverage. Delingpole wrote in his
201 2 polemic Watermelons that this ‘con’ has in part been
engineered by the environmental think tank Club of Rome in
order to form a “New World Order”, described as ‘an eco-
fascist tyranny so powerful and all-encompassing it makes Nazi
Germany look like Mary Poppins’ nursery’.
Delingpole has appeared several times on Alex Jones’ InfoWars,
most recently in December 2015, during which they discussed
a supposed environmentalist-led drive towards “one world
government”. Jones has been described by the Southern
Poverty Law Centre as ‘the most prolific conspiracy theorist in
contemporary America’ and InfoWars is widely considered a fake
news website, popular in so-called “alt-right” circles.
Delingpole stated in a 2011 BBC Horizon programme
“Science Under Attack” that he does not read peer-reviewed
papers as he ‘doesn’t have the time or the scientific expertise’,
instead considering himself an ‘interpreter of interpretations’.
He also condemned scientific consensus on global warming
as ‘unscientific’. He has since dismissed peer-review
In 2010 Delingpole was awarded the 2010 Bastiat Prize for online
journalism by the now defunct free-market campaigning group
Number of articles:
International Policy Network (IPN). IPN was funded in part by oil
Delingpole sees himself as a classical libertarian and has
described himself as ‘a member of probably the most
discriminated-against subsection in the whole of British society
-the white, middle-aged, public-school-and-Oxbridge educated
Having cultivated a reactionary, contrarian persona, Delingpole
has framed the BBC’s political correctness as part of a cultural
Marxist ‘grand plan to destroy Western civilisation from within’.
Delingpole was forced to apologise to fellow journalist Suzanne
Moore in 2013 after making a sexist comment in support of his
friend Toby Young which alluded to her being raped. Delingpole’s
apology was rejected by Moore.
A UKIP sympathiser, Delingpole put his name forward to
stand as a candidate at the European elections in 2014 but
was rejected at the interview stage. He also stood as an
independent candidate in the Corby by-election in 2012 on the
single issue subject of wind farming, despite the fact that the
town had no wind farms. Delingpole quit the race in time to
recoup his £500 deposit.
Australian writer Simon Kent has
operated in the international media
for three decades. Kent worked as
commissioning editor for the UK’s
Telegraph Sunday Magazine in 1 984
before reporting for the Australian
paper The Sydney Morning Herald
and tabloid The Sun-Herald in the
1 990s. Kent then became the editor
of the London bureau of Fairfax
newspapers, while contributing to
The Daily Telegraph and military and
corporate magazine Jane’s Defence
Weekly. From 201 1 Kent worked as
online editor and columnist for the
Toronto Sun, a tabloid modelled on the British Sun newspaper
and known for its populist conservative stance.
In 2014 he became a political contributor and relief host at Sun
News Network, a Canadian TV channel known for its caustic,
provocative right-wing output. The channel was frequently
inundated with complaints - a notable example being when
pundit Ezra Levant issued an appalling tirade against Roma
people - and Sun News Networkms pulled off the air early 2015
due to poor ratings.
Kent, described by former colleague Levant as ‘my friend’, has
appeared several times on Levant’s “counter-jihad” outlet Rebel
20 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Media. Other guests on Rebel Media include Paul Weston of the
far right Liberty GB, described by the website as ‘one of the great
voices of freedom and classical values in the UK’.
Donna Rachel Edmunds
Donna Edmunds has a colourful
background in right-wing politics,
working as an assistant to then-
Conservative MEP Roger Helmer
in Brussels before her election as
a Conservative to Lewes District
Council. Edmunds was forced to
stand down as Lead Councillor for
Communications in 201 1 , after calling
a constituent a ‘village idiot’ and to
‘pay your taxes to die of cancer if
that’s what you want’ during an online
row about the NHS.
May 201 4 -present
Number of articles:
She defected to UKIP in 2013 and
became MEP candidate for the South East. In 2014 Edmunds
was slammed by her own party and forced to apologise after
claiming that business owners should be able to refuse services
to women and gay people. She later left the party, claiming that
Farage was planning to oust her as an MEP candidate to make
way for the party’s current Deputy Chair Suzanne Evans.
A prolific writer, Edmunds founded the blog UKIPDaily.com with
the aim of giving ‘a platform to all views within UKIP’, and has
written for Kassam’s controversial former site The Commentator.
She has also written for The Freedom Association (TFA), a
Tory and UKIP-linked libertarian pressure group that gained
prominence through its vigorous anti-trade union campaigns
and opposition to sporting sanctions imposed on apartheid-era
South Africa in the 1980s.
Edmunds sees herself as a ‘Hayekan crusader’ who ‘often spends
long hours attempting to reconcile Randian Objectivism with the
Bible’. At Breitbart London Edmunds has provided sympathetic
coverage to a number of far-right figures and parties including
former EDL and Pegida UK leader Stephen Lennon, Dutch
“counter-jihad” figurehead Geert Wilders, and far-right nationalist
party the Sweden Democrats.
On social media Edmunds has frequently made Twitter contact
with YouTube vlogger and “alt-right” affiliate Paul Joseph
Watson, editor-at-large of the notorious conspiracy site
InfoWars (at one point writing “I love this guy”). Edmunds
has even contacted Watson to request statistics to use in her
articles. Watson, who believes that the US government was
highly involved in 9/1 1 , has made a career of turning fringe
conspiracies into mainstream ideas and was responsible for
popularising the “Is Hillary dying” hoax.
Oliver JJ Lane
Oliver Lane is a former researcher
for the military think tank, the
International Institute for Strategic
Studies and the longstanding
Eurosceptic group Get Britain Out.
He was also briefly employed as an
analyst for security firm Onsight
Lane ran as Conservative Party
candidate for Nuneaton and Bedworth
county council in 2013, gaining
12.45% of the vote, and spent nine
months as chairman of the British
Primarily reporting for Breitbart London on military matters
and Islam, he describes his work on the far-right outlet Rebel
Media as: ‘Half of my job everyday is scanning all of the
European local newspapers, the small places that other media
groups wouldn’t necessarily look to think [sic], local blogs,
local interest, and that means we can get those sorts of stories
days before the national news media’. Using this tactic Lane
broke the 2016 New Year’s Eve Cologne assault scandal in the
English language, which remains Breitbart London’s highest
profile story so far.
On social media Lane has “liked” multiple racist pages,
including the premier “alt-right”/new right publisher Arktos,
the openly pro-fascist page “Rational Ethno-Nationalism” and
the Nazi blood-and-soil page “Artaman: Hyperborean Garden”.
Lane has also “liked” a page titled “European Traditional
Family” which posts Nazi propaganda of Aryan families, and
the “strictly non muslim” group “The Beauty of European
Girls and Women”, dedicated to white women of “pure
Lane also appears to be an associate of Gregory Lauder-Frost
of the Traditional Britain Group (TBG), who frequently leaves
friendly comments on Lane’s Facebook account. Lauder-Frost
is a former Tory-fringe leader and former BNP member with
apparent Nazi-sympathies. The TBG hosts annual far right
gatherings addressed by prominent racist personnel, such as
former BNP organiser and British “alt-right” figure Matt Tait.
These gatherings have been attended by some of the UK’s most
prominent fascists, including the leadership of the extreme-
right London Forum.
Lane has also “liked” the official TBG Facebook page, which
has reposted several of his articles. Other users leaving
comments on Lane’s Facebook page include Jack Buckby of
Liberty GB, once a rising star in the BNP and tipped to become
the next Nick Griffin.
August 201 4 -present
Number of articles:
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 21
Other Breitbart London staff (continued)
UK-born Canadian Chris Tomlinson
is a former technician for a Canadian
mobile phone repair company,
with a background in marketing for
insurance firms. Since May 2015
Tomlinson has worked in journalism
and campaigned for the Conservative
Party of Canada. His reporting
for Breitbart London primarily
covers right-wing European politics
Describing himself as a
“traditionalist”, Tomlinson has
penned several positive Breitbart
London articles about the European
Identitarian Movement (which he calls the “hipster right”).
The Identitarian Movement derives from the French New Right,
and pushes for ethnic homogeneity within borders and an end to
multiculturalism. “Alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer of the
white nationalist National Policy Institute has defined himself as
Tomlinson is also a member of the “Archeo-Futurism” Facebook
group, an “alt-right” online hub dedicated to the radical creed of
New Right white supremacist Guillaume Faye. In addition, he is
a member of the crude Austrian nativist facebook group “NPO -
National Partei Osterreich”.
Post: Staff writer,
Number of articles:
An East Asian Studies graduate from
Liverpool, Virginia Hale appears to
have had little writing experience
prior to Breitbart London outside
of her primary blog, “Chronicling
Ever More Intolerant Society”. She
also had two other blogs, “Women
Gamers Against SJWs” [SJW =
“Social Justice Warriors”] and “Get
Feminists Out of Gaming” dedicated
to the Gamergate controversy,
the 2014 online movement led by
Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopolous
which brutally harassed women in
On 3 January 2017 Hale penned a deliberately misleading false
report for Breitbart London about a “1 ,000-man mob” setting
fire to a German church. Hale’s claims were quickly dispelled
by the German media and police and the article ensured
Post: Staff writer,
Number of articles:
Breitbart London’s round condemnation in the international
press, with one German newspaper claiming that she had used
exaggerations and factual errors to create ‘an image of chaotic
civil war conditions in Germany, caused by Islamist aggressors’.
Hale has stated that her work at Breitbart London ‘involves me
going through Euro papers every day - 1 see the ruin brought to
continent by invaders’.
Hale defines herself as a paleoconservative, a traditionalist
ideological foundation of the “alt-right”. However her social
media feeds reveals her to be a white nationalist with an
obsessive preoccupation with race, frequently posting about
‘white genocide’, a term long used in in racist circles to refer
to a deliberate campaign of mass immigration, integration
and miscegenation conducted by sinister (and often Jewish)
elites. Hale has also alleged that black people are more prone
to violence because of their IQs, and blamed an alleged drop in
European IQ levels on immigration.
Hale has used social media to engage in active dialogue with
“alt-right” leaders such as Richard Spencer of the National Policy
Institute, Kevin MacDonald of the Occidental Observer, racist
Scottish vlogger Colin Robertson (aka Millennial Woes), Mike
Peinovich (aka Mike Enoch) of The Daily Shoah podcast and
TheRightStuff.biz, and Matthew Heimbach, considered by many
to be the face of a new generation of American neo-Nazis.
Much of Hale’s Breitbart London output fits neatly into white
nationalist narratives, with article titles including: “Whites
Need Not Apply: BBC Advertises ‘Black, Asian Or Minority-
Only Positions ” , “Islamic Academic: Migrants WantEurabia,
Globalists Using Migrants to Destroy The West’ and ‘African
Migrants Riot Against ‘Racist’ Italians: ‘Allah Will Guide Us in
Nick Hallett is one of the original
Breitbart London writers, reporting
primarily on UK politics. After
completing a Combined Arts Degree
at Durham University, he worked
for several years as a research
fellow at the Young Britons’
Foundation (YBF), a controversial
Conservative-affiliate think tank
with strong links to American
neoconservative movements. Dubbed
the “Conservative mad rasa” by its
founder Donal Blaney, former Prime
Minister David Cameron attempted to
distance himself from YBF due to its
radical views and influence on young party activists.
Post: Staff writer,
February 201 4
Number of articles:
22 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Exclusive: Government Will Not Request Prison
Sentence for ‘Child Migrant’ Who Raped 5 Year-Old
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by jack Montgomery i sj Tiansgendei Student
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f Z Make Mosques Look More British to Help Muslims
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more traditionally British style to help Muslims integrate
Hallett then spent a year as Head of Research at the
Thatcherite campaigning group the Conservative Way
Forward (CWF). The leadership of CWF, including Blaney,
was implicated in an alleged bullying scandal after a
young CWF and YBF activist committed suicide in 2015.
Hallett has also assisted with running the Margaret
Thatcher Centre, a museum dedicated to the former UK
Prime Minister, and stood for the Conservatives in the
2008 Durham County Council elections, garnering 4.5%
of the votes.
Hallett’s stories have been picked up by a number of
dubious outlets, including conspiracy sites InfoWars and
CulturalMarxism.net, alongside American Renaissance,
considered to be one of the most important organisations
in the world of “academic racism” by the Southern Poverty
Philosophy graduate Liam Deacon
has written for a wide variety
of publications, including The
Huffington Post, VICE, The Guardian,
Left Foot Forward, Conservative
Woman, Freethought Blogs,
SpikedOnline and Street Carnage.
The baby-faced Deacon appears to
have undergone a transformation
at Kassam’s Breitbart. Previously
describing himself as a believer
in ‘progressive free thought,
secularism, equality and social
mobility’, he even once wrote
positively in a Sheffield student paper about Ed Miliband’s
‘moderate socialism’, claiming that ‘it’s certainly evident there
is a deep-seated and irrational fear of the left fostered by so
much of the UK press’. Much of Deacon’s pre-Breitbart activity
revolved around drug policy reform, founding the Sheffield
chapter of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy UK and writing
for Release’s TalkingDrugs website.
At Breitbart London Deacon has abandoned the considered
tone of his articles and strayed to reactionary, nativist territory,
producing headlines such as “100 UK-Bound Migrants Brawl in
France” and “UK Muslim Rape Gang Charged With Trafficking
White Girls”. Alongside several pro-UKIP articles Deacon has
written sympathetically of Dutch “counter-jihad” politician Geert
Wilders, former EDL and Pegida UK leader Stephen Lennon, and
Marine Le Pen’s Front National. Deacon also appears to have
reined in his stance on drug policy in line with the website’s
generally more punitive outlook in this area.
Islam Academic: Migrants Want Eurabia, Globalists
Using Migrants to Destroy The West
. , . U1 has warned that Muslims in Europe view
a highly reg
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divided sol q lem to ^ rS011j Burning Cars
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force to become over
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Breitbart London’s newest staff
addition, Jack Montgomery is the
former Scottish spokesman for
Leave. EU, the unofficial Brexit
campaign led by former UKIP donor
and Westmonster blog owner Arron
Montgomery is described by Banks
in his book Bad Boys of Brexit as
a ‘Scottish waiter plucked from
obscurity to serve as lead writer,
content adviser and sometime
spokesman for Leave. EU. Spent the
early days of the campaign sending
furtive emails from the cutlery-
polishing section of his restaurant to Banks, who decided he had
an eye for a story and brought him in.’
Leave. EU openly mimicked the Trump Presidential campaign’s
disdain for facts and was criticised for its crude and often
xenophobic output. Banks’ book reveals Montgomery to have
had an active hand in producing some of Leave.EU’s provocative
social media posts.
Montgomery has also blogged for Global Britain, a Eurosceptic
organisation run by Leave.EU co-chairman Richard Tice, and City
AM, a business-focused London newspaper.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 23
A platform for extremists
Breitbart London has given a platform for some of the world’s
most prominent anti-Muslim activists. Among them are:
Geert Wilders is the most successful
“counter-jihadist” politician in the
world. Since 2004 Wilders has been
the founder and leader of the Dutch
Party for Freedom (PVV), the third
largest party in the Netherlands. His
prominence in Dutch politics has
secured his position as the main
standard-bearer across Europe of the
“counter-jihad” networks and he is
feted by aligned campaigning organisations in North America.
Wilders has called Islam the “ideology of a retarded culture” and
compared the Koran to Mein Kampf. He has also called for the
Qu’ran to be banned, and demanded the rewriting of the Dutch
constitution to halt all immigration from Muslim countries.
In addition, he’s demanded the paid repatriation of Muslim
immigrants; for all Muslim ‘criminals’ to be stripped of Dutch
citizenship and deported ‘back where they came from’.
Wilders was barred from entering the UK in 2009, after the
Home Office labelled him an “undesirable person”.
Of the 1 2 articles Wilders has written for Breitbart London since
January 201 6, titles have included “EXCLUSIVE - Geert Wilders:
Stopping Islamic Immigration Is a Matter of Survival”, “Geert
Wilders: Muslims, Leave Islam, Opt for Freedom!” and “Geert
Wilders For Breitbart: Let’s Lock The Door To Islam”.
Anne Marie Waters
Ex-Labour Party member Anne Marie
Waters, is former spokesperson and
co-director for the One Law for All
campaign, and was a council member
of the National Secular Society. In
201 3 she shifted dramatically to the
right, writing regular blogs for the
International Free Press Society’s
Dispatch International on subjects
such as sharia law, immigration and
In May 2014, Waters joined UKIP. One month earlier she
launched Sharia Watch UK in the House of Lords. Waters was
central to plans to host a Muhammad Cartoons competition in
London in September 2015, which was later cancelled.
Raheem Kassam has described Waters as “a good personal
friend”. Waters writes exclusively on Islam for Breitbart, including
pieces such as “Feminists Need To Know - Islam Kills Women”
and “Dear So-Called Feminists - Your Open Borders Bullsh*t Will
Ensure Thousands Of More Rapes And Sexual Assaults”.
Hopkins is an English television
personality and newspaper columnist.
While she has been promoted by
the British tabloid newspaper The
Sun (for whom she writes a column)
as “Britain’s most controversial
columnist”, she has been described
in several other outlets as a
Among her many controversies was an
April 2015 column for The Sun, “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships
to stop migrants”. Throughout the article she labelled migrants as
“cockroaches” and “a plague of feral humans”, saying they were
“spreading like the norovirus”. The article began: “No, I don’t care.
Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play
violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care”.
These comments, published just hours before hundreds of
migrants were killed after their boat capsized near Libyan waters,
were condemned by the United Nations High Commission for
Human Rights and many others, referred to as “hate speech” in
the press. One week later, Breitbart London gave her a platform
to publish her first article.
American blogger and author Robert
Spencer is a principal leader of
the international “counter-jihad”
movement and a close associate of
Pamela Geller. Spencer has published
10 books and has led seminars on
Islam and jihad for the US Army
Command and General Staff College,
the FBI and the US intelligence
community, among others.
Spencer is the founder of Jihad Watch, a programme of the
David Horowitz Freedom Centre (DHFC), which was cited 162
times by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik in the
manifesto he used to justify his killings of 77 people in 201 1 .
With Geller, Spencer co-founded the America Freedom Defense
Initiative (AFDI) and shares the Executive Director role of
Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). They share a common
conspiratorial belief in a ‘stealth jihad’ (holy war) being waged
against the United States, with the aim of subjecting America to
Spencer was banned from entering the UK in 201 3 (alongside
Geller) for inciting anti-Muslim hatred. By publishing his articles
Breitbart London has ensured his voice is heard in the UK.
24 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson
Stephen Lennon co-founded and led the violent anti-Muslim
movement, the English Defence League (EDL), from 2009 until
2013. He remains the single most important “counter-jihadist”
in the UK and is viewed as an inspirational figure to both the
militant and the political wings of the movement.
Lennon left the EDL in October 201 3, claiming to be tired of
fighting off nazis infiltrating the group. However, he has lost
none of his anti-Muslim views and founded the British branch
of the German anti-Islam Pegida street movement in 2015.
Among the speakers at the April 201 6 Pegida rally was none
other than Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam.
Lennon served 12 months in jail for actual bodily harm, having
assaulted an off-duty police officer during a domestic incident in
2004. More recently, he was imprisoned for 18 months for his
role in a £180,000 mortgage fraud.
Kassam has described himself as “mates” with Lennon and
provided him with a sympathetic extended interview on Breitbart
London’s YouTube channel. Kassam also interviewed Lennon in
August 2016 on Breitbart News Daily.
American blogger, author and political activist, Pamela Geller is a
principal leader of the international anti-Muslim “counter-jihad”
movement. She co-founded the American Freedom Defence
Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of Nations (SION) and is
Executive Director of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) with
Robert Spencer. She published Stop the Islamization of America in
2011, which she has described as a “practical primer for patriots”.
Geller’s conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda emphasises
the existence of a concerted Islamic conspiracy to destroy
Raheem Kassam interviewed Geller on Breitbart News Daily in
December 2016. Geller is also a regular columnist in the US
edition of Breitbart, having written over 290 articles for the site.
Anti-Muslim extremist Ingrid Carlqvist is a leading actor in the
European “counter-jihad” movement and founder of the Swedish
Free Press Society. She is also the editor-in-chief of the online
newspaper Dispatch International, the paper of the International
Free Press Society, co-run with Lars Hedegaard.
Carlqvist is a writer for the notorious Gates of Vienna (GoV) blog,
which acts as the central forum of the “counter-jihad” movement.
Anders Breivik was a regular reader of Gates of Vienna.
Raheem Kassam interviewed Carlqvist for Breitbart News on
(left to right) Stephen Lennon, Pamela Geller and Frank Gaffney
20 August 2016, to talk about “the migrant crisis in Europe and
the lessons that can be learned by Americans before the crisis
reaches our shores”. Carlqvist has previously enjoyed positive
coverage in Breitbart, which has referred to her as a “Swedish
Frank J. Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy
(CSP), is a well-connected and influential figure in conservative
American circles. During the 1 970s Gaffney worked as an aide to
Richard Perle in the office of Senator Henry M. Jackson. In the
1980s, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear
Forces and Arms in the Reagan Administration.
Gaffney alleged a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy in the Obama
administration. Today, he has a significant influence over Trump
and many of his close advisors.
Gaffney hosts a daily radio programme, Secure Freedom Radio,
where he interviews prominent anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and
far-right figures (including the infamous white nationalist Jared
Taylor of American Renaissance).
Gaffney has been interviewed by Raheem Kassam multiple times
on Breitbart News Daily. Gaffney has also written 26 articles for
Breitbart’s US site.
Daniel Pipes is the founder and President of the Middle East
Forum (MEF) and an influential “counter-jihad” leader. He was
the first to conceive and popularise the idea of the Muslim “no-
The MEF established a legal defence fund for Geert Wilders in 2009.
It publishes the Middle East Quarterly (MEQ) (2004-) journal.
Raheem Kassam, who is a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at
Pipes’ Middle East Forum, interviewed Pipes on Breitbart News
Daily in August 2016. Pipes has also written four articles for the
outlet’s American wing.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 25
Below the Line:
The Comment Section
Breitbart News Network has
a dual function: as a far right
“news” outlet and also as a
popular online discussion
board for those from the far-
and extreme right.
While Breitbart London has a much smaller reach than its
American parent (Comscore listing under 700,000 unique
monthly users in November 2016), it has been effective in
creating a bubble for the European right, and Breitbart London
articles frequently draw thousands of comments, many from
Its hysterical, relentless association of Islam and immigration
with social degradation ensures that the comment section (which
is inadequately moderated) becomes a toxic sewer of race-
baiting, Islamophobia, nativism, antisemitic conspiracy, and even
- on occasion - calls to violence.
“Alt-Right” Feedback Loop
Leading American “alt-right” figure Richard Spencer told The
Daily Beast in 2016 that Breitbart had “elective affinities with the
alt-right and the alt-right has clearly influenced Breitbart... In this
way, Breitbart has acted as a “gateway” to alt-right ideas and
That Spencer - a man who believes that forcibly sterilising
minorities is a viable route to a white ethnostate - could make
such claims about a popular “conservative news” source is
deeply troubling, but confirmed by the prevalence of alt-right
figures in its comment sections.
When they are not commenting on white nationalist sites such as
Radix and Morgoth’s Review, popular “alt-right” figures including
Colin Robertson (aka Millennial Woes), Julius Ebola and
Adam TC Wallace can be found promulgating their chauvinist
ideologies on Breitbart London. Robertson can even be seen
attempting to recruit other Breitbart London commenters for his
From UKIP to Jobbik
Breitbart London routinely publishes articles sympathetic to the
European populist right, including UKIP, the Front National, in
France, Geert Wilders’ PW in The Netherlands, and Alternative
for Germany in Germany (AfD).
Flowever the support of a vocal section of Breitbart’s readership
lies in the very worst that European politics has to offer: the
self-professed neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn in Greece, the fascist
Jobbik in Hungary and the extreme-right (and now largely
irrelevant) British National Party in the UK. The failure of
Breitbart News Network to adequately condemn or moderate
the cancerous ideologies thriving in its comment section allows
them to spread and gain legitimacy.
Millennial Woes: Breitbart comments
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HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 27
How Breitbart has
In mid-February, US President Donald Trump sparked an
international outrage over comments about the threat of Islamist
extremism in Sweden. He initially claimed that there had been a
terrorist attack but when that proved false his aides pointed to
immigrant violence and no-go areas.
Right wing outlets like Breitbart jumped to his defence,
highlighting a litany of rapes, riots and no-go areas.
So the story goes, the once-idyllic Scandinavian utopia has
been “brought to its knees” by an influx of illiterate criminal
sexual predators from the Middle East. The truth is that since
the arrival of large numbers of refugees there has been a wave
of violence and terrorist attacks across Sweden: however, you
won’t have read about them in Breitbart. Since 201 5 there have
been a number of attacks on refugee centres, housing and
migrants themselves. In January 2017 three suspected neo-
Nazis were arrested following a homemade bomb attack on
a Gothenburg Asylum Centre.
While ignoring the attacks on migrants, Breitbart London has
claimed Sweden’s immigration policies have led the country
into a crisis, with one recent survey article (of their own stories)
detailing Ten Reasons Sweden’s ‘Multicultural Utopia’ is
Massively Failing’. It is difficult to assess every such claim: in
the last year alone Breitbart London has published 21 0 articles
on Sweden or the Swedish. However, as most of the ‘reasons’
offered in the survey address ongoing claims, HOPE not hate
has used these as a starting point to set the facts straight about
Breitbart London has also provided little coverage of crimes
against migrants committed by Swedish nationals, such as
housing centre arsons detailed by Sweden’s National Police
Operations Department to SVT Nyheter, and anti-migrant street
violence, as detailed by Aftonbladet.
The article “Ten Reasons Sweden’s
‘Multicultural Utopia’ is Massively Failing”
has been shared on social media over
15,100 times and been commented on
over 1500 times.
28 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
TEN REASONS SWEDEN’S ‘MULTICULTURAL
UTOPIA’ IS MASSIVELY FAILING
Let’s deal with various claims made in Breitbart London’s ‘Ten
Reasons Sweden’s ‘Multicultural Utopia’ is Massively Failing’.
1 . “There are at least 55 real no-go zones”
Breitbart has tried to perpetuate the idea that there are areas
in Sweden where police have little control due to migrant and
■ Socioeconomic vulnerability, not one’s national origin, was
shown to be a greater predictor of criminal activity by the
Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention in 2005
■ A 2015 Swedish police report stated that there were only
15 areas that were particularly vulnerable to serious crime and
■ The police do not lack control in policing these areas, but rather
in solving socioeconomic issues themselves. As the 2015 report
states: “Many of the risk factors are beyond the control of the
police, such as the state of the welfare system, unemployment,
ethnic segregation, stigmatization or crowded housing”.
2. “Multiple hand grenade attacks in Swedish no-go zones”
According to Swedish police, the number of grenade attacks in
Sweden in the past three years are as follows: 2014 (8), 2015
(48), 2016 (52).
Flowever, Breitbart London:
■ Frequently conflates wider violent crime with grenade attacks,
and given that what is recorded as a shooting in Sweden is
broad, this means other crime statistics can be misattributed to
■ Grenade attacks by migrants within high migrant-populated
areas have predominantly been carried out by organised gangs
whose members emigrated to Sweden prior to the recent
migration crisis. As Emil Karlsson, for Debunking Denialism, has
argued, it is mistaken therefore to imply recent migrants have
brought, en masse, lawlessness to areas.
3. “Police are quitting their jobs in huge numbers”
The article states “an estimated 80% of police are considering
another career because of the violence and the government not
letting them properly do their jobs due to political correctness”.
HOPE not hate | Breitbart report | 29
Unpacking Sweden (continued)
The figure, from an uncited 2015 Swedish Police Union
members poll, states “eight out of ten police officers [said] that
they [had] considered resigning”.
■ The poll stated the reasons were as follows: 61% wages; 41%
restructuring; 24% bad opportunities for career advancement;
8% due to hate and violence; 27% Other reasons; 17% No.
■ It is unclear how representative these figures are of Sweden’s
police at present and across the country.
4. “Most serious crime is committed by migrants”
The Swedish government no longer collects data on criminals’
national origins, therefore making such a claim unprovable.
■ Due to the lack of specific statistics it is worth looking at
Europe more generally on this issue. According to Luca Nunziata,
an economist from the University of Padua, during the 2000s
in Europe “an increase in immigration did not affect crime
[...], but it is associated with an increase in the fear of crime,
the latter being consistently and positively correlated with the
natives’ unfavourable attitude toward immigrants”
■ A 2017 government report on crime in Sweden between
2005-2015 has shown that almost all crime has decreased or is
■ The evidence Breitbart relies upon in its survey article
is a generalisation made by one officer in the city of
Orebro, extrapolated out to make it seem like fact and based
across the entire nation.
5. “Migrants raping underage migrants in asylum homes”
There have been cases of migrants raping underage migrants
in Swedish asylum homes, though this would not warrant the
absolute claim about the risks migrants inherently pose to all
other migrants (which Breitbart London appears to imply).
6. “Migrants raping Swedes”
Breitbart London has perpetuated the idea that many recent
migrants to Sweden have been raping Swedish citizens.
■ A 2017 Swedish government report has shown “sex crimes
(including rape) [are] either decreasing or roughly constant as
measured by crime victim surveys”
■ A 2017 government statement pointed out that Sweden’s
legal definition of rape has broadened over time. Relatedly,
the precision in how incidents of rape are recorded makes
comparisons to other states’ figures misleading. Furthermore,
Sweden has made a conscious effort to encourage the reporting
of offences. Given how recent these changes are, any recent
fluctuation despite long-term decline or constancy will definitely
reflect these factors
■ An article in the British Journal of Criminology published in
2013 showed that, across 63,000 Swedish residents, 75% of the
(in this case slightly higher -though note again the possibility
for fluctuation from year-to-year) difference in foreign-born
crime is accounted for by economic conditions.
7. “Swedish authorities and media covering up statistics”
Breitbart often relies on sparse, insufficient ‘evidence’ to make
general claims. In this case, it relies on:
■ A claim about a censored ‘migrant riot’ in Sweden, but its
source, a local paper called Barometern, does not state that it
was caused by migrants
■ A claim that academics have been obscuring statistics on
migrant crime and preventing access to their sources, though
they rely on one academic source in the Norwegian tabloid
newspaper Dagbladetto support this claim
■ A claim that the most recent government statistics which
detailed national origin are from 2001. This is false, it is 2005.
No further national origin data has been collected by Sweden
because, as noted above, socioeconomic factors have been
shown to be a better underlying explanation of the causes of
crime than national origin
■ A claim that explanations by the police for rises in migrant
crime which relate to cultural differences of migrants are
‘bizarre’. The influence of socioeconomic factors is more crucial
to explanations for migrant crimes, though this doesn’t support
Breitbart’s suspicions since, again, levels of migrant crime are
not clear-cut in the first place.
8. “Swedish school scores are suffering because of migrants”
■ A 2015 OECD report showed that recent immigration had only
had a limited impact on Swedish school scores. However, it is
true that the gap between immigrants and native-born students
is a challenge.
9. “The majority of Sweden’s unemployed are foreigners”
This claim is undermined by a number of factors which can be
surmised from the very source of Breitbart London’s claims:
■ An unspecified definition of unemployment (which can also
include or not include underemployment, for example) in a cited
■ Bloomberg’s own admission that there are barriers to
employment for migrants, which questions whether the
fault lies with migrants actions or actions of the Swedish
30 | Breitbart report | HOPE not hate
Meeting the Breitbart threat
H OPE not hate is meeting the threat from
Breitbart London head on. We have just
launched a new investigative unit to challenge
the lies, ideas and narrative of the growing threat posed
by Breitbart and from a burgeoning array of radical- and
populist-right parties and social media outlets.
We will investigate those who pollute communities,
poison the airwaves and choke social media with their
rhetoric. We have to drag out those lies into full view and,
by doing so, show them for the falsehoods they are.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative to forensically
analyse the so-called populist- and radical-right and
their modus operandi.
Across Europe and the USA, highly divisive political
movements and leaders have arisen on a wave of
Many of these movements and their supporting
structures are rebranding old hatreds and conspiracies
under new flags of convenience: the so-called “Alt-
Right” for example, a turgid mix of younger white
nationalists, supremacists and antisemites proficient
with digital media.
But more importantly, these right-wing forces threaten
the very pillars of our liberal democracy in Europe -
equality, tolerance, human rights, humanitarianism and
A key element of many of these radical- and populist-
right movements is the promotion of Take news’, partially
or wholly made up stories which bypass mainstream
media and Breitbart have become masters in this.
But as this report highlights, these falsehoods and
exaggerations are being made quite consciously for
Unfortunately, a lack of background knowledge and
facts is allowing these right-wing commentators to go
increasingly unchallenged in the mainstream media.
But all this is about to change.
HOPE not hate is taking on the Breitbart operation. We
will no longer allow its lies to go unchallenged. We will
monitor and expose the wider political agenda of those
behind Breitbart and we will counter the new political
party that is about to be launched by Arron Banks and
Nigel Farage on the airwaves and in local communities
all over the country.
Our interdisciplinary team will be made up of seasoned
journalists, researchers, digital specialists and political
campaigners. We will be able to respond in real time to
fake news and distortions. We will correct the errors,
source the facts and provide copy for people to use.
Like those behind and affiliated to Breitbart, we will use
the most modern political targeting tools to deliver our
messages into homes around Britain.
Our unit will use the very latest in data- capture software
to monitor right-wing websites and social media
accounts. We will research the claims made and provide
sourced rebuttals if required. With an in-house digital
team, we will rapidly provide shareable social media
memes and videos.
Quite simply, this unit will be the most sophisticated
and tech- savvy rebuttal unit in the UK today.
But our work will not stop there. We will also build
on our long experience of community and political
campaigning to challenge the politics of hate in our
communities. This will include utilising social media
in a more sophisticated and targeted way than we have
We will also seek to work with others in order to
maximise our respective strengths.
Breitbart is part of a wider right-wing political project
and we can be sure that both the website and the
other tools at the disposal of billionaire backer Robert
Mercer and Steve Bannon will be heavily involved
in promoting and supporting Nigel Farage’s new
With the stakes so high, it is imperative we increase
our capacity to expose and challenge the narrative of
this new threat and like our opponents we also need to
Please support our efforts.
HOPE not hate
HOPE not hate
Breitbart report | 31
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